Human Rights in Arab world deteriorating: Watchdog

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 23:39

Cairo: Human rights in the Arab world was
worsening, with religious and ethnic minorities being target
of discrimination in several countries, including Egypt and
Saudi Arabia, a top rights watchdog has warned.

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in a
report issued today said the Arab governments "remained wedded
to a broad array of repressive laws that undermine basic
liberties".

"Peaceful rotation of power through representative
politics, and clean and competitive elections remained a dream
in most countries covered by this report," said report titled
`Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform` on the state of human
rights in 12 Arab countries.

It said most of the 12 countries in the region
repressed human rights activists, press freedoms and
discriminated against religious minorities.

"Religious and ethnic minorities also continued to
suffer discrimination in several Arab countries, such as Egypt
and Saudi Arabia, said the report which survey Algeria,
Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi
Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.

It underlined that the state of human rights in the
Arab World was worsening this year as compared to 2008 with
torture becoming the norm in many countries including Egypt.

Egypt and Syria were singled out as leading offenders,
with Cairo said to lead the region in practising torture and
Damascus for repressing rights activists.

The report also found torture was "routine" in
Bahrain, "rampant" in Tunisia and practised in Saudi Arabia
against terrorism suspects.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - 23:39

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